MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Before dignitaries headed to the Airbus groundbreaking Monday morning, they made another stop in the Brookley Areoplex.
Safran Engineering Services is already open on Perimeter Road, not far from where the Airbus plant will be located.
Mayor Sam Jones said part the deal to get the company to Mobile included the renovation of the 3,000 sq. ft. office building.
"I think that this is one of the industries that there wasn't a lot of incentive given to come here," Jones said.
"The Airport Authority renovated the building, the city assisted with it, as well as the county assisted with it. I think our outlay for it was like $60,000."
It's an investment the city expects will pay off in jobs.
"The hiring process has not started on the broad scale, but it will be developing," Bruno Bernard said.
Bernard, the Safran CEO, said that development includes a close partnership with local colleges and universities, including the University of South Alabama.
John Steadman is Dean of the College of Engineering at USA. He said, since the Airbus announcement, the college has had a record enrollment.
"We need to understand as well as we can exactly what skills and knowledge they need, and we'll adjust our curriculum to make that happen," Steadman said.
Some engineering students are already excited about the opportunities that could be headed their way. Cody Salter will graduate next month. He's already had an internship with Airbus. He said a full-time job with the company's first supplier would be a dream come true.
"So many of us are looking for jobs right now, and we're looking hard, and it has not been easy. It has not been easy at all. I've been looking every since August, and I have yet to snag a job. So this is wonderful for us to be able to stay in the community that we already love, that we're already use to. To be able to use this degree that we've poured so much money into," Salter said.
Safran expects to hire about 50 engineers.
Of course, the city hopes to attract many other Airbus suppliers. It is also trying to convince Labinal, the parent company for Safran, to bring in other divisions of its operation including its manufacturing component.
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